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cal04

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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 38,623

Journal Archives

Video: New Hampshire Voters Slam Romney As A 'Corporate Raider'

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/01/10/401969/video-new-hampshire-voters-slam-romney-as-a-corporate-raider/

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — As voters here head to the polls today to help decide who will be the GOP’s presidential nominee, some voters are turning away from front-runner Mitt Romney because of his ties to Wall Street and history at Bain Capital. Speaking outside campaign events and polling places, voters told ThinkProgress they worry Romney is a “corporate raider,” who wants to “turn the government into a corporation,” and who says he wants to create jobs in the U.S. but has outsourced them to other countries. Watch our video report:

&feature=player_embedded

House GOP shuts down Dem speaker Jim Moran in pro forma session

House Republicans on Tuesday declined to recognize a House Democrat who was trying to speak about the need for Congress to quickly resolve its differences about how to extend the payroll tax cut.

(snip)
Still, Moran argued afterwards that his inability to be recognized is a "new low" from Republicans.

"Speaker Pro Tempore Robert Aderholt refused to recognize me on the floor and in a dramatic show of Republican authority, leadership cut off the microphone during the Pledge of Allegiance and kept them off afterwards when I asked to be recognized," he said.

"The 160 million Americans who need an extension of the payroll tax cut deserve to have their voices heard. The temporary extension expires in just a few weeks. The American people have a right to hear from Members of Congress on the House floor."

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/203371-gop-again-shuts-down-dem-speaker-in-pro-forma-session

The GOP’s Big Lie on Obama and jobs

Greg Sargent
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-gops-big-lie-on-obama-and-jobs/2012/01/06/gIQAT5HzeP_blog.html

In the wake of today’s better-than-expected jobs report, Newt Gingrich has now released a statement bashing Obama for failing on the economy. He did this by echoing Mitt Romney’s favorite Big Lie — i.e., that the way to evaluate the success or failure Obama’s jobs policies is to look at how many net jobs have been created or lost since he took office:

(snip)
It’s actually a good thing that Gingrich did this, because it perfectly reveals the reason the Republican presidential hopefuls are insisting on using the “net” jobs metric: It’s the only way they can continue to attack Obama as a job destroyer, even as jobs continue to be created on his watch.

(snip)
Though today’s numbers are cause for cautious optimism, there’s no denying that jobs have not been created as fast as we would like on Obama’s watch. But come on — the citation of jobs lost before Obama’s policies passed as evidence that those policies were a failure is just ludicrously, cosmically absurd, and should not be allowed to stand

(snip)
And right on cue, Romney repeats the claim again in a statement:
more at link

Progressive Groups To Raise The Spectre Of Ryan Plan During Debates

It’s not the general election yet, but we already know what one key issue will be: Medicare. Republicans in the House voted to basically end Medicare as we know it, a position Mitt Romney fully embraced in December. Progressives think it’s never too early to remind voters where Republicans stand on the issue.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America are raising money to air an ad on the issue during the two debates this weekend. The ad, which aired this June, is aimed at New Hampshire rep. Charlie Bass who voted for the Ryan plan — and who endorsed Mitt Romney

Democrats know this is a winning issue for them. Republicans were scared by this very ad this summer and tried to get it taken off the air. But, as progressives want to remind them, they, and whoever their nominee is, have already yoked themselves to the Ryan plan. PCCC spokesman Niel gave the following statement on the ad buy:

Tea Party Representative Charlie Bass voted to end Medicare and this issue is one of the reasons he endorsed Mitt Romney. By airing this ad during this weekend’s New Hampshire presidential debates, we are holding Charlie Bass accountable for voting to end Medicare and making sure that Republican presidential candidates cannot escape their party’s extremism on this issue

Watch the ad:
http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/progressive-groups-to-run-ad-on-ryan-medicare-plan-during-nh-debates.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

Alan Grayson:Rick Santorum is Wrong

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/04/1051637/-Rick-Santorum-is-Wrong?via=siderecent

Maybe I should leave it alone. Maybe I should just let Rick Santorum enjoy the 15 minutes of fame that comes with getting 30,000 Republicans to vote for you. (Less than one-hundredth of one percent of the U.S. population, by the way.)

But there is something that Rick Santorum said last month that really bothers me. And I’m going to tell you what it is.

On December 5, Santorum was talking to a group of about 100 students at Dordt College, a small Christian college in Iowa. A student referred to a 2009 Harvard study showing that 44,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health coverage. The student then asked Santorum what that meant for the Christian responsibility of caring for the poor. Specifically, the student questioned whether “God appreciates the fact” that all those Americans die each year for lack of healthcare.

Santorum’s response? Rick Santorum “rejects” the idea “that people die in America because of lack of health insurance.”

Wake up, Rick.


The student was referring to the same study that I publicized on the Floor of the House two weeks after it was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Here it is. It documents that 44,789 Americans die each year because they have no health insurance. In fact, if you take two Americans who are physically identical – same age, same gender, same race, same weight, same smoking history – and one of them has health insurance and one does not, then the one without health insurance is 40% more likely to die each year.

Here is a link to my speech on this, entitled “I Apologize to the Dead and Their Families.”


I remember the same response from right-wingers then as we hear from Santorum today – anyone can go to an emergency room. I ask them to show me an emergency room that will provide chemotherapy to a cancer victim. There isn’t one.

But to answer that challenge, I started a website called www.NamesOfTheDead.com. I invited surviving family and friends to tell me about people whom they had loved and lost, because they had no health coverage. And they did – thousands of them. I read some of their stories on the House Floor.

Then I gave a speech identifying how many people died each year for lack of health care in each district represented by a Republican healthcare opponent. The Republicans interrupted that speech for two hours, until the House Parliamentarian told them that they had to let me continue. A reporter who has covered Capitol Hill for more than 25 years told me that that kind of interruption had never happened before.

But Rick Santorum apparently never got the memo. He thinks that no one in America ever dies because he has no health care.

Why does Santorum think that? Because he has to. He has to engage in flat denial of the reality that 50 million Americans – one out of every six of us – face each day. Because to face that reality would mean that Santorum would have to face the brutality, the swinishness, the cruelty and the savagery of the policies that he so enthusiastically espouses.

For God’s sake – every single other industrialized country in the entire world has universal health care. Why can’t we? How many more people have to die? How many more sacrifices on the altar of Almighty Greed?

Any health care system that denies necessary care on the basis of wealth is evil. It doesn’t matter how you micromanage it, or tinker with it. It’s evil.

When Justice Harry Blackmun began voting against death in every death penalty case, he gave this simple and eloquent explanation: “From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.”

We need to reach the same kind of realization in health care. Forget about the tinkering. This is America, not Myanmar. People who are sick need to be able to see a doctor. Because we are human beings, not cattle. End of story.

Are you listening, Rick Santorum?

Courage,
Alan Grayson

P.S. To the tens of thousands of us who helped our campaign during 2011, thank you. From my heart, thank you.

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Occupy the Rose Parade: 5,000 Protesters, Giant Octopus Fail to Make Live TV

Occupy the Rose Parade: 5,000 Protesters, Giant Octopus Fail to Make Live TV
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/01/occupy_the_rose_parade_5000_protesters_giant_octopus_fail_to_make_live_tv.php

Apparently the 70-foot octopus float carried by an estimated 5,000 Occupy L.A. protesters at the end of today's Rose Parade wasn't awesome enough for KTLA, the premiere local station covering the event.

Reporters gushed over marching bands, floral arrangements and even a police horse brigade led by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. But after float No. 43 had passed the finish line, the cameras shut off.

"Raw video" of the unofficial Occupy entry has been relegated to a corner of KTLA's website, because...


... the station is surely aware of the immense national (and international) interest in the parade-ending spectacle. It is, after all, Occupy's much-anticipated answer to carrying its last three months of momentum into the new year.

Occupying the Rose Parade's TV Audience With Anything but Occupy Wall Street Marchers
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9034

As Big Bank Stocks Plunge, CEOs Continue To Reap Huge Salaries

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/01/02/396228/as-big-bank-stocks-plunge-ceos-continue-to-reap-huge-salaries/

Wall Street Pit’s Ron Haruni points out that as the banking industry’s stocks plunged this year — with major megabanks like Bank of America facing uncertain fates — their executives have walked away with sky-high salaries.

Haruni cites the work of Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove and shows how banks have seen their value and stocks plunge by double-digits while executive compensation remains high:
http://wallstreetpit.com/88230-big-bank-ceos-walk-away-with-big-bucks-in-2011

According to data from Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove, the heads of major banking groups including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) are out-earning their employees and shareholders even as shares of bank stocks as a group lost about 26% this year.

Bove found that while the 23 financial institutions he follows saw their stock prices and market cap drop by more than 30% and 11%, respectively, bank CEO compensation averaged $7.74 million. That means the banking heads brought in 50 to 100 times the average worker. Take BofA’s CEO Brian Moynihan who will earn $2.26 million this year while his bank’s market value dropped 60% – the worst in Rochdale’s study.


Election Day Registration, No Photo ID Requirement Will Help Boost Turnout In Tomorrow’s

Election Day Registration, No Photo ID Requirement Will Help Boost Turnout In Tomorrow’s Iowa Caucuses
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/01/02/396177/iowa-election-day-registration/

Tomorrow, when Iowa Republicans gather across the state to vote on their party’s presidential nominee, one important tool will be available to boost turnout: election day voter registration.

Though Iowa, unlike most states, permits those who haven’t registered (or just need to update their file after a move, for instance) before election day to do so when they show up at their precinct during regular elections, the Huffington Post notes that the Iowa GOP is in charge of setting the rules for its own caucuses.

Despite nationwide efforts to make voting more difficult, the Republican Party of Iowa decided to buck the trend and allow for on-site registration. In doing so, however, they necessarily undercut the argument being made by GOPers in many other states that election day registration (EDR) invites fraud. (Of course, voters are 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than commit fraud at the polls, and EDR actually helps prevent already-miniscule levels of fraud.)

(snip)
Republicans Require No Photo ID To Vote In Republican Iowa Caucus
Brad Friedman also points out that the Republican caucuses will not require voters to present a photo ID in order to cast their ballot, a requirement GOPers around the country pushed vigorously in 2011.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-friedman/republicans-require-no-ph_b_1173283.html

Democrats Descend on Iowa to Hit Romney

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/democrats-descend-on-iowa-to-hit-romney/

Mitt Romney is fighting to be the top choice of Republicans here in Iowa, but he’s already the top target for Democrats.

On Sunday night, just as polling showed Mr. Romney leading the GOP field along with Ron Paul, Democratic Party operatives descended on Iowa to set up an anti-Romney war room at a hotel in downtown Des Moines. There, they introduced a worker laid off in the early 1990s when his Indiana employer was bought by Mr. Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital.

(snip)
Mr. Johnson suggested he would retell the story of his layoff across Iowa and anywhere else where Mr. Romney campaigned for president.

“I have asked the D.N.C. to help me figure out where to go,” he said.

Worker Laid Off Under Bain Capital: Romney ‘Didn’t Care About The Workers,’ Put ‘Profit

Worker Laid Off Under Bain Capital: Romney ‘Didn’t Care About The Workers,’ Put ‘Profit Over People’ |

Speaking to reporters tonight in Des Moines, Iowa, a worker laid off by a company owned by Bain Capital accused former Bain Capital CEO and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being “out of touch” with the concerns of average Americans. Randy Johnson and more than 250 of his fellow workers at a Marion, Indiana American Pad and Paper (AMPAD) facility lost their jobs after Bain decided to close the plant amid a labor dispute. Johnson, who noted that he personally reached out to Romney during the labor dispute, said, “I really think didn’t care about the workers. It was all about profit over people.” In addition to the layoffs and eventual bankrupting of AMPAD, Bain Capital under Romney’s leadership drove several other firms into bankruptcy and caused thousands of layoffs.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/01/01/396199/worker-laid-off-under-bain-capital-romney-didnt-care-about-the-workers-put-profit-over-people/
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